BY KELSIE EHALT// DC locals Priests will be ending the tour for their first studio album, Nothing Feels Natural, at the 9:30 Club on Friday December 1st. While they have only recorded one LP so far, they have been releasing music on Sister Polygon, the record label that they created, since 2012.
Nothing Feels Natural runs the gamut of genres, from surf rock track “JJ”, to spoken word on “No Big Bang”, but all the songs are tied together by a sound reminiscent of the post-punk Riot Grrrl scene of the 90’s. Appropriately, the album was originally recorded in Olympia, the birthplace of Riot Grrrl, before it was re-recordered in DC, another flashpoint of the scene.
Being students of the Riot Grrl movement as well as a punk band from DC, it’s certainly not surprising that the members of Priests are involved in politics. The band helped organize and performed at an Inauguration Day event at the Black Cat which raised money for Casa Ruby and One DC.
Their songs, while not always outwardly political, deal with ideas of power and media in American society. The song “Pink White House” features some of the most explicitly political lyrics on their newest album: “A puppet show in which you’re made to feel like you participate / Sign a letter, throw your shoe, vote for numbers 1 or 2.” Priests’ analysis of the political realm is not limited only to the United States, but is cast towards Palestine and Israel in “Puff”: “And Munaayyer says Netanyahu’s actually the best thing, cause so much hate can only mean we’re accelerating / Accept the triumph of the machine.”
Friday’s opening act is Mellow Diamond, a cellist and singer whose Bandcamp bio describes as writing songs “for analog equipment, alongside acoustic and electric instruments creating soundscapes interwoven with jagged contemporary jaunts, dream-pop vocal works, Persian classical glimpses, and psychedelic reveries.” This is sure to be a change in pace from Priests’ howling vocals and clashing guitars, but will be an intriguing sight.
Check out tickets here!